Georgetown lawmaker calls for investigation into gas prices

Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 3:19 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2022 at 8:52 PM EDT
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GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCSC) - A state representative is asking Gov. Henry McMaster to investigate the “discrepancy in gas prices” in Georgetown County compared to gas prices in Horry and Charleston Counties.

Carl Anderson (D-Georgetown) sent a letter to Attorney General Alan Wilson asking his office to investigate.

“In Georgetown County, we’re paying 50 to 60 cents more per gallon,” Anderson said.

Anderson said it all started a few weeks ago when he was contacted by loggers and truckers who did not know what to do about high prices at the pump.

“Gas here is $4.39,” Anderson said. “In Horry County, it’s $3.77 a gallon.”

Anderson said the high prices of gas in the county is making Georgetown residents drive out of the area to save money.

“I always tell people, shop local,” Anderson said. “Spend your dollars local. But it’s hard for them to spend their dollars local when the price is so high.”

Denise Washington, of Georgetown, said she has to go to Myrtle Beach sometimes to get gas.

“You can go other places, and the gasses are reasonable,” Washington said. “But here in Georgetown, it’s sky high.”

Georgetown resident Janet Reown said she gets just enough gas to take her around town.

“I just get like 20 dollars just to carry me through,” Reown said. “But I cannot fill it up. There’s no way.”

Paula Lamm is a cashier at Francis Marion Country Store in Georgetown. She said people who live in the area say they have some of the lowest prices in town, so they have plenty of traffic coming to their pumps all day long. On Wednesday, their regular gas was priced at $4.29.

“We get our shipment in daily, and the boss lady looks at it and sees if we can go up or go down and she does the best she can do,” Lamm said.

Lamm said the past few months have been very hard for their customers.

“We care about ‘em and try to do the best we can do for ‘em,” Lamm said.

Anderson is also concerned about the price of premium gas. He said it is normally 10, 15, or 20 cents higher than regular gas. But now, he said it is sometimes 50 or more cents higher.

“These are everyday people; these are hardworking people,” Anderson said. “These people might not have the high-paying jobs that they think they do.”

Anderson said he hopes the attorney general will look into it and the governor will talk to people who work in the business sector to come up with a solution.

The governor’s office issued this statement on gas prices in South Carolina:

The governor’s confident that the appropriate authorities will thoroughly investigate any potential predatory pricing in the state, but the bottom line is that every South Carolina family – like families across the country – are hurting at the gas pump because of President Biden’s failed energy policies that have left the country dependent on foreign oil. The only way South Carolinians are going to get real relief from high gas prices is for the democrats in Washington to admit that their policies are hurting our people and reverse course.

Meanwhile, the attorney general’s office also issued a statement saying they cannot investigate a price gouge right now.

Our response is that we cannot investigate possible price gouging because the state’s price gouging law is not in effect. It is in effect only during a declared state of emergency.

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